The New Testament is a collection of Christian works written in the common (Koine) Greek language of the first century, at different times by various writers, and the modern consensus is that it provides important evidence regarding Judaism in the first century AD. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books. The original texts were written in the first and perhaps the second centuries of the Christian Era, in Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. All the works that eventually became incorporated into the New Testament are believed to have been written no later than around 120 AD,. John A. T. Robinson, Dan Wallace, and William F. Albright dated all the books of the New Testament before 70 AD. Others give a final date of 80 AD, or at 96 AD.
Collections of related texts such as letters of the Apostle Paul (a major collection of which must have been made already by the early 2nd century) and the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (asserted by Irenaeus of Lyon in the late-2nd century as the Four Gospels) gradually were joined to other collections and single works in different combinations to form various Christian canons of Scripture. Over time, some disputed books, such as the Book of Revelation and the Minor Catholic (General) Epistles were introduced into canons in which they were originally absent. Other works earlier held to be Scripture, such as 1 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Diatessaron, were excluded from the New Testament. The Old Testament canon is not completely uniform among all major Christian groups including Roman Catholics, Protestants, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Slavic Orthodox Churches, and the Armenian Orthodox Church. However, the twenty-seven-book canon of the New Testament, at least since Late Antiquity, has been almost universally recognized within Christianity (see Development of the New Testament canon).
The New Testament consists of:
The term "new testament" (Koine Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē), or "new covenant" (Hebrew בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה bərîṯ ḥăḏāšâ) first occurs in Jeremiah 31:31 (Greek Septuagint καινὴ διαθήκη kainḕ diathḗkē, cited in Hebrews 8:8). The same Greek phrase for "new covenant" is found elsewhere in the New Testament (Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Hebrews 8:8, and Hebrews 9:15; cf. 2 Corinthians 3:14). In early Bible translations into Latin, the phrase was rendered foedus, "federation", in Jeremiah 31:31, and was rendered testamentum in Hebrews 8:8 and other instances from which comes the English term "New Testament."
Modern English, like Latin, distinguishes testament and covenant as alternative translations, and consequently the treatment of the term διαθήκη diathḗkē varies in Bible translations into English. John Wycliffe's 1395 version is a translation of the Latin Vulgate and so follows different terms in Jeremiah and Hebrews: